In celebration of an incredible year, the U.S. space agency, NASA, has unveiled a video showcasing the top achievements of the past 12 months. The video also includes a powerful speech by NASA chief Bill Nelson, delivered at Rice University in Houston, Texas earlier this year.
The video highlights some of the standout moments from 2022, including the James Webb Space Telescope transmitting its first breathtaking images from a distance of one million miles from Earth, and the Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) mission, which successfully crashed a spacecraft into an asteroid, paving the way for a planetary defense system to protect humanity from asteroid impacts.
In addition to these major achievements, the Perseverance rover and Ingenuity helicopter continued their work on Mars, while astronauts continued to live and work on the International Space Station.
In November, NASA made history by launching the most powerful rocket ever built, the Space Launch System (SLS), as part of the Artemis I mission. The SLS rocket propelled an uncrewed Orion spacecraft to the moon, where it came within 80 miles (128.75 km) of the surface before returning to Earth on December 11.
This successful mission paves the way for a crewed mission in the coming years and a possible astronaut lunar landing in the near future.
“Throughout America’s story, there are defining days,” Nelson says in the video. “Days when minds change, hearts fill, and imaginations soar. Days when visions transform the trajectory of the American story, which is our story.”
The NASA boss continues: “Doing what is hard and achieving what is great, that’s what stirs humankind. That’s what unites us. With inspiration and innovation, no hard Herculean effort is too large. No moonshot is beyond our reach.
“A new generation — the Artemis generation — stands ready. Ready to return humanity to the moon and then to take us further than ever before, to Mars.
“Let us continue the quest to unfold this universe and let us continue to find unity in our discovery, so together let us continue to dream beyond the impossible dream that now becomes real, then let us traverse the untouched terrain of the once unreachable stars.”